IKONOS Satellite On Orbit Nine Years
The IKONOS commercial remote sensing satellite has been on orbit and continues to function, Lockheed Martin Corp. [LMT] announced.
GeoEye Inc. [GEOY] owns and operates the bird, which supplies high-resolution imagery of Earth that GeoEye sells to commercial and government customers.
The satellite was launched Sept. 24, 1999, with an expected life expectance of five to seven years, so it has exceeded its useful service by at least two years, with Lockheed predicting it may continue working into the next decade.
The spacecraft collects 0.82-meter resolution black-and-white imagery while simultaneously collecting just better than four-meter resolution multispectral data.
These map-accurate images are used for applications in land management, environmental monitoring, local and regional government, national security, disaster relief, news gathering, and many other geospatial applications. IKONOS has collected the world’s largest archive of commercial, high-resolution Earth imagery.
IKONOS is based on the Lockheed LM900 low Earth orbit, three-axis stabilized, remote sensing bus. It weighs 1,600 pounds (720 kg).